Seared Scallops with Corn Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

I love this combination of rich scallop, salty pancetta, peppery cress, and sweet Corn Cream sauce. Dry-pack scallops are those that are never put in seawater or brine and are much firmer and meatier as a result. You’ll probably have to ask your fishmonger to order these ahead of time for you. If scallops are unavailable, substitute firm white fish, such as halibut or sea bass. You can also certainly do the recipe without the pancetta wrap, if desired.


  • 12 thinly sliced rounds of pancetta
  • 12 large dry-pack fresh scallops (about pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups young watercress leaves with tender stems (discard woody stems)
  • Corn Cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Gently unwind the pancetta and then wrap it around each scallop. Secure with a toothpick, if necessary. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat until very hot and just beginning to smoke. Using tongs, carefully place the scallops flat side down and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook the other side until browned, about 1 minute. Resist the temptation to move the scallops around so that they can brown quickly and evenly.

Arrange the watercress leaves in the center of warm plates (a nice touch) and place the scallops on top. Spoon the Corn Cream around and garnish with a grinding or two of black pepper. Serve.